Coronavirus claims first major ConExpo 2020 exhibitor, others staying put

Not to be: Volvo’s ConExpo booth.

Volvo Group —including Volvo Construction Equipment and Mack Trucks — has withdrawn from next week’s ConExpo.

“We are great supporters of Conexpo, and despite being in advanced preparations for this year’s event, we believe it is the right thing to do to withdraw at this late stage. Our first concern is the wellbeing of employees, customers and the wider public,’ said Melker Jernberg, executive vice president of Volvo CE.

This leaves a 60,000-square-foot draped space in the central aisle of the Festival Grounds, space where Volvo was planning to let show attendees operate its new electric compact excavator and wheel loader. Working under the theme “Building Tomorrow,” Volvo planned to feature  a central ramp leading up to the operator stations in both its largest-in-the-lineup EC950F excavator and its R100E 100-ton rigid hauler.

Prior to the Volvo Group announcement, show sponsor Association of Equipment Manufacturers told Equipment World that to date only 31,150 square feet out of 2.694 million net square feet — or 1.26 percent — of exhibitor show space had been cancelled. And the show had resold more than half of the cancelled space.

In addition, AEM says it has received more than 16,000 registrations since Feb. 21st.

In a statement issued by AEM today, the association listed manufacturers who still intend to come, including Cat, Liebherr, Case Construction Equipment, Komatsu, Astec, Doosan Bobcat, Kobelco, Tadano, Wirtgen, Manitowoc Cranes, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, Superior Industries, Sany Heavy Industry, Hyundai Construction Equipment and Bell Trucks America.

Commenting in the press release, Ingo Schiller, CEO of Tadano America said: “Tadano is moving forward with our plans to bring our customers a successful CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020. Safety is our core value and always a top priority. We are actively monitoring the WHO and CDC to determine the most responsible course of action, following their recommendations and best practices that include a no handshake policy for the show, a cleaning crew to wipe down surfaces during show hours, and hand sanitizing stations around the booth area. Tadano looks forward to having a safe and successful CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020.”

AEM previously said it would urge a “no handshake” policy to attendees, and have large signs throughout the show that detail hygiene best practices.

“We’re confident that if everyone follows good hygiene and health protocols, especially those we’re going out of our way to remind people of, everyone will have a successful time at the show, and go home healthy,” said Dana Wuesthoff, ConExpo show director. “We’re doing everything we can to put on a safe show, and ask all exhibitors and attendees do the same for everyone’s sake.”